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Extending Certification Periods and Adjusting Periodic Reports Due to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Blanket Approval

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PDF Icon Policy Memo (203.27 KB)
DATE: April 22, 2020
SUBJECT: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – Extending Certification Periods and Adjusting Periodic Reports Due to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Blanket Approval
TO: SNAP State Agencies

Dear SNAP State Agencies,

As authorized by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)(PL 116-127), the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is permitting all interested state agencies to extend certification periods and accordingly adjust periodic report submission dates for ongoing SNAP households who are due for recertification or periodic reporting through June 30, 2020.

Under this adjustment, SNAP state agencies may adjust the certification provisions of section 3(f) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (FNA) and SNAP regulations at 7 CFR 273.10(f)(5) to extend certification periods for households scheduled to expire in March, April, May, and June 2020, for up to 6 months, until September, October, November, and December 2020, respectively.

State agencies may also adjust the periodic report requirements of section 6(c)(1)(D)(i) of the FNA, and SNAP regulations at 7 CFR 273.10(f)(1) and 7 CFR 273.12(a)(5)(iii)(B) for ongoing households for the same time period - March, April, May, and June 2020. If the state agency wishes to extend this adjustment beyond the initial period an extension request must be submitted to FNS for approval.

FNS has determined this adjustment to be consistent with what is practicable under actual conditions in areas affected by the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.

This adjustment is contingent upon a state agency’s compliance with the conditions and evaluation requirements detailed in the attached enclosure, which should be provided to FNS 45 days after expiration of the adjustment (Aug. 14, 2020).

For state agencies that already requested and received approvals for certification period extensions through May 2020, this adjustment provides an additional month. If a state agency elects to implement this adjustment, it must notify its respective FNS regional office, and any state notifications will be relayed to the FNS Certification Policy Branch.

FNS is ready to provide technical assistance to state agencies as they seek to maintain operations and serve clients during the current public health emergency. If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your respective regional office representative.

Sasha Gersten-Paal
Program Development Division
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

Page updated: April 07, 2023

The contents of this guidance document do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. This document is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies.